Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: How to Resize Images
Our next step is going to be to take a look at how we can size and resize our photographs. Let's go ahead and open up two images. One of them is titled annika.jpg, really fun photograph of my daughter Annika in the swing in the front of our house all bundled up there. The other one is resize_instructions.jpg. On a Mac hold down the Command key, on a PC hold down the Ctrl key and select both images, and then let's open these up by way of a shortcut.
On a Mac the shortcut is Command+O, on a PC that's Ctrl+O. All right! That will open up both documents. Now, the reason why I wanted to include this resize_instructions file is just to point out that there is a method to our madness. There are a few steps here. So I'm going to click in this document and then zoom in a little bit so we can see these steps. Once we open up the Image Size dialog, we're going to go through these four steps: Resample off, change our resolution to whatever we determine, Resample on, and then finally resize.
I also want to point out there's a shortcut for the Image Size dialog. This is an important shortcut, right? Because almost every image will need to be resized so it's a shortcut that you want to learn. On a Mac, Option+Command+I, on a PC that's Alt+Ctrl+I. All right! Well, you can refer back to those instructions later. Let's go ahead and resize an image. We'll click on annika.jpg, press F to go to Full Screen View, Spacebar, click and drag to reposition our photograph.
Next, we're going to open up the Image Size dialog by navigating to the Image pulldown menu, and here we're going to click on the option for Image Size, or of course we could press the shortcut. It's Option+Command+I on a PC, Alt+Ctrl+I. You want to memorize that one. All right! Well, let's open up Image Size. Well, in this Image Size dialog let's walk through what we have here. Well, Pixel Dimensions. These are the physical pixels. How much information we have.
How weighty, how heavy the file is. Again, about 12 megs. Now, this is going to be determine either by how we scanned the photo, or how we captured it with those with those digital capture, or by how it was delivered to us. Sometimes we work on files that have been resized that someone else has already resized and we need to do some further work on it. So again, this is all about tangible. This is practical content that we have. How many pixels do we have to work with? Next step, Document Size. This is all about the dimensions of the final print and also our resolution.
Down below we have three check boxes. Typically we're going to leave Scale Styles and Constrain Proportions on. That way constraining the proportions, the aspect ratio will always have integrity. All right! Well, what about Resample Image? This is a really important one when resizing, because there are different bicubic image interpolations that work better in different scenarios. Well, let's say that with this image I want a 5x7. Well, I'm going to choose Bicubic Sharper because right now it's about 7x10.5, so I'm going to be sizing this down, so I'll choose that option, Bicubic Sharper.
Next, what about those four steps? You remember the first step was to turn Resample Image off. Now why would we do that? Well, we're doing that because it grays out this area and says you know what? Don't touch the actual pixels. First, I want to dial in my resolution, and then I'm going to worry about size and also the pixels. So, first step Resample Image off. Second step, change your Resolution. Resolutions that I print out typically are 180, or 240, or 300.
Let's go ahead and choose 300 just because that's an even number. Now that being said, it's actually very rare that I print at 300, although many times I need to deliver files to publications at this resolution. So, I'll go ahead and choose that one. All right! Well, the third step is to turn Resample back on. Well, now that we've done that we haven't thrown away any information. We've simply changed the Resolution down here. And remember I said I want a 5x7. Now, let's take a look at how these numbers work.
What's happening here is we have 300 pixels per inch. Well, 300 times 5.5 equals 1600, approximately. 300x8.3 equals 2500. So what's happening is every little inch we have 300 pixels, and so we're multiplying 300x5, and that's how these numbers work together. The reason I'm bringing that up is because we can either change our size up here, or down below.
Let me show you what I mean. I can either type in 5 right here, 300x5 equals 1500, or for that matter I could make a change right here. You can see that at this point this is now all related. 300 times 4 is 1200. Well, that's too small for the size that I need. I need a 5x7. So let's say that I've made a mistake. What can I do now? Well, here's a great trick for you in almost every Photoshop dialog.
On a Mac, hold down Option; on a PC, hold down Alt. That will change Cancel to Reset. Click that and it will take everything back to normal. Let's go through those steps again. This time let's go through them with the goal of creating a 5x7 print and let's do this correctly. Here we go. Resample goes off. Resolution we changed. 300 or whatever you need. Next, Resample back on and then finally resize either by changing our Height here or our Height up top. Now in this case it's much easier to change my Height in inches then it is to guess the actual pixels.
Now at this juncture, all that I would need to do would be to click OK and that will then resizes image to 5 by about 7.5. Now, if I ever want to confirm to see if I've resize something correctly, all that I need to do is to navigate up to my Image pulldown menu and then open up the Image Size dialog. This is going to then show me how this image has been resized. All right! Well, we have one small problem with this image, right? It's not exactly 5x7.
Well, how can I add a little bit more exactness to this, or what else can I do in regards to resizing this image? Well, there's another step that we can take and we'll take a look at that other step in the following movie.
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